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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday appealed to UP chief secretary to file an urgent appeal on behalf of the State against the Allahabad High Court judgement which had reduced the sentence of a convict from 10 years to 7 years in the case of a sexual assault of a minor.

The high court in its ruling had observed that oral sex with a minor does not come under ‘aggravated sexual assault’ category under the Pocso Act. The convicted man had been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old minor by a Sessions Court in Uttar Pradesh.

The NCPCR in its letter to the UP chief secretary said, “…the observations of the Hon’ble High Court in the present matter for commutation of sentence of the accused from 10 years to 7 years and the offence from Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 5 and 6) to Penetrative Sexual Assault (Section 3 and 4) seems to be not asper the letter and spirit of the POCSO Act, 2012.”

Further, the child rights panel sought details of the surviving child in order to ensure that full legal aide can be provided to the minor.

ALLAHABAD HC RULES ORAL SEX WITH MINOR NOT ‘AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT’

The Allahabad High Court in a ruling on Wednesday said that, “Putting a penis into the mouth does not fall in the category of aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault. It comes into the category of penetrative sexual assault, which is punishable under Section 4 of the POCSO Act.” The court then went on to reduce the sentence of the guilty from 10 years to 7 years.

According to reports, the convicted man had sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy. The act of crime came to light when the minor child was questioned about Rs 20 found with the child. Upon being asked persistently, the boy narrated the ordeal, following which the family had approached the police.

SC OBSERVED ‘SKIN-TO-SKIN’ CONTACT NOT NECESSARY FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT

Earlier, Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi had ruled that restricting the meaning of “touch” to “skin-to-skin” contact would lead to “narrow and absurd interpretation” and destroy the intent of the Act, which was enacted to protect children from sexual offences.

Read | ‘Skin-to-skin’ contact not necessary for sexual assault under POCSO Act: SC

“Touching through clothes/ sheets with sexual intent is covered in the definition of Pocso. Courts should not be overzealous in searching for ambiguity in words that are plain,” the Supreme Court said. “Narrow pedantic interpretation that would defeat the purpose of the provisions cannot be allowed,” the court said.

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